What can I ask for when I negotiate a salary and benefits?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 22,933
    Career counselor Karen Chopra discusses what you can ask for when you negotiate a salary and benefits.

    Host: What can I ask for when I negotiate a salary and benefits?

    Karen Chopra: You can negotiate for just about anything that's going to make your life easier as an employee. So for example, I had many clients where the amount of leave that they get is actually more important than the amount of salary that they get and so the first thing that they are going to ask for is more leave. Some companies can manage it and some companies can't but that maybe the most valuable thing for you and so if that's what's important, go ahead and ask for that. You use your leverage to get more leave.

    For other people, flexibility and scheduling ability to be able to leave early to go to class or to get kids is being important and so they are going to use their leverage for that rather than for more money. You can ask for tuition reimbursement. You can ask for them to get you a Blackberry or a laptop computer if you are going to be on the road a lot for travel. You can ask for different title and titles are one of these great things to think about looking at because they usually cost the company nothing. They can change your title without any difficulty but the title on your resume actually will look more impressive than making more money when you move to the next stop.

    So it's a benefit for you and it doesn't cost the company anything. You may actually ask them for a signing bonus. Does the company offer a signing bonus, because some private sector companies actually just give you money for saying you come work for them and it comes out of a different part of money and so they are happy to give that to you on top of the salary. You may ask for an accelerated salary review.

    So normally it's one year or in April or whenever a company does it, but if you think that you are going to perform really well, you may say can you do my first salary review after six months. I think you will be really happy with my performance and I would like to have that reflected in my pay. So there are all sorts of things that you could potentially ask an employer as part of your negotiation for compensation and benefits.